Practitioners can begin using PEXA in the month of their state launch. For example, property lawyers and conveyancers in New South Wales will have access to PEXA from September 2014.
There will be a strategic approach to the on-boarding of practitioners in each state in order to control volume and stability of PEXA in its initial phase.
Practitioners will be able to subscribe to PEXA directly or through one of our sponsors. At present, PEXA has relationships with InfoTrack, SAI Global Property, GlobalX Information and Veda.
Practitioners have the opportunity to complete the registration process up to 3 months in advance of the PEXA launch in their state. Training sessions (both classroom-style and online) will be available from one month prior to each launch date.
For example, in Victoria, practitioners will be able to complete the registration process from July 2014, attend training in September and begin using the platform from October. More information at www.necd.com.au
9 December 2013 - Fixed Fees and Lawyer Ratings Integral to RocketLegal Online Service
Rocketlegal.com.au is Australia's first online comparison service that enables clients with an immediate legal need to find experienced lawyers on a fixed-fee basis, according to the service’s founder and CEO Rameez Ullah.
Launched this year, the company explains that RocketLegal is an “online service where consumers can go ... to make an informed-decision about choosing a lawyer in any area of Law, right across Australia.”
People with personal or business legal issues access the service at no charge. Lawyers who take on work through the service agree to pay RocketLegal 15% of the value of the work that is generated from a client in the first 12 months. Because of differing lawyer regulations amongst jurisdictions, a different arrangement applies for lawyers based in Western Australia and Tasmania.
A lawyer ratings system helps clients of the service select a lawyer for their matter. As explained by RocketLegal to potential clients: “We have the utmost faith in our senior lawyers and we also have a rating system if you need further proof, from individuals like you, that your lawyer is capable of doing the job.”
Rameez Ullah informed Legal Practice Intelligence that “we are currently referring hundreds of thousands of dollars (worth of legal work) to lawyers in our network every single month, and that approximately 60% of the work is from small businesses and 40% from individuals.”
Visit Rocket Legal at https://rocketlegal.com.au
5 December 2013 - Electronic Certificates of Title in NSW
With the commencement of electronic Conveyancing in New South Wales, LPI has released a training video to help practitioners better understand arrangements to deal with certificates of title in the initial stages of implementation of National Electronic Conveyancing in NSW. The video explains:
•The alternative to the certificate of title, called optional No-CT.
•How to check if a paper certificate of title, or CT, has issued.
•What has changed with the introduction of optional No-CT for paper transactions.
•Arrangements for optional No-CT and electronic transactions.
•Safeguards supporting optional No-CT.
2 December 2013 - Slater & Gordon UK Has Now Reached Scale of Australian Business
28 November 2013 - New Cloud-Based Marketing Service for Busy Lawyers
For lawyers who would like to have their marketing done for them, Lift Legal has arrived. Lift Legal is a new cloud-based software company that is progressively releasing a range of innovative marketing products created especially for law firms.
Lift Legal has been formed by two lawyers - Brian Hicks and Peter Heazlewood. They have been former Managing Partners of progressive law firms with both having had over 20 years in legal practice.
The company’s first product is an electronic newsletter that is sent to law firm clients and referrers. As an added bonus, Lift Legal will write the newsletter articles. It is up to the law firm to choose this option.
After the newsletter is sent, the software enables the law firm to review who has opened the emails, how many times the email was opened, how many clicks each email has had, and provides a “call list” for the law firm, showing the most interested clients.
This information enables the law firm to make contact with those identified clients who are most interested in a particular article or topic. No longer do law firms have to wait for work to come in. The software enables the firm to be proactive and stimulate demand.
Law firms are also using the software to send out Christmas cards electronically to clients and referrers. For readers of Legal Practice Intelligence, you can take up an early bird offer if you register your interest before Friday 6th December at: www.liftlegal.com.au/christmascards
26 November 2013 - New Online Community For The Professional Services
Find out more
22 November 2013 - NSW Conveyancing – Is the Upturn Sustainable?
For NSW: The month of October 2013 had the highest number of property transfers compared to any October since 2007.
The number of property transfers in October 2013 was 22% higher than October 2012.
How many other markets in the economy grew in size by 22% over the past year? Which markets for legal work have grown by 22%? We don’t know the answers to these questions but clearly conveyancing is a lot more attractive than it has been over the last few years.
October 2013 was 37% higher than October 2011 (the bottom) but still 4% lower than October 2007 (the peak).
In round numbers conveyancing activity is 20% higher in NSW than it was in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Our prediction is that while property prices do not decline, sales volumes will continue at current levels or better. People like to buy in a market when prices are rising and people like to sell in a market when prices are rising. Whatever the reason, as long as prices do not go into reverse, the current level of sales activity looks to be sustainable.
20 November 2013 - Marriage Creates Justice Connect
18 November 2013 - LAWYAL Solicitors - Starting A New Law Firm From The Cloud Up
14 November 2013 - An Estimate of The Size of The Family Law Market
As part of the recent company AGM, Managing Director of Slater & Gordon, Andrew Grech, provided a summary of the company's recent activities and plans. The estimate of the size of the family law market in Australia is stated as "at least A$400 million" (below from 1:56).
12 November 2013 - Tindall Gask Bentley Has Opened a Full Service Office in Perth
Tindall Gask Bentley is known as South Australia's largest plaintiff law firm with over 100 staff with 50 lawyers. Click image below to read about its expansion into Western Australia.
12 November 2013 - Current Conveyancing Activity Compared to Last Year
For at least two years we have been keeping an eye out for an upturn in property sales activity across Australia.
In the first quarter of this calendar year, Western Australia and South Australia started to show a positive trend. In the middle of the year Queensland was up strongly. During winter NSW and Victoria started to improve.
In August 2013 the Reserve Bank reduced the benchmark interest rate from 2.75% to 2.5%. Combined with other factors this has had the following impact:
Increase in the volume of property transfers compared to last year:
NSW 23%, Victoria 38%, Queensland 8%, Western Australia 11%, South Australia 33%.
(NSW, Victoria – September 2013 compared to September 2012; Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia – September and October 2013 combined compared to equivalent months of 2012)
Increase in capital city dwelling values - from October 2012 to October 2013 (Source RPData):
Sydney 11.6%, Melbourne 7.8%, Brisbane 3.4%, Perth 6.9%, Adelaide 1.9%
6 November 2013 - Insurance Team of 23 Moves from DLA Piper to HWL Ebsworth
From official announcement:
Leading independent Australian law firm HWL Ebsworth Lawyers has announced that Jenne Tzavaras, Joanna Apostolopoulos and Ivan Medak have been appointed as partners within its Sydney Insurance team.
Jenne, Joanna and Ivan are joined by twenty other team members in moving from DLA Piper to HWL Ebsworth.
This newly recruited team offers specific expertise in statutory workers compensation insurance across the full range of employer indemnity schemes operating in New South Wales.
In a joint statement, the new partners said "We are delighted to be joining a firm that is so closely aligned culturally and strategically with our insurance practice. Our mutual success has been built on a service offering that delivers commercially and technically outstanding legal advice and unsurpassed value for money. Moving to HWL Ebsworth enables us to continue to service our clients in this way".
Following these appointments, HWL Ebsworth offers domestic and global clients a national team of 35 partners and supporting teams specialising in insurance related matters.
"This is a significant investment for our firm and one that will allow us to continue to broaden the range of services provided to our insurance and non-insurance clients" said Juan Martinez, HWL Ebsworth's Managing Partner. "This is a rare opportunity to secure the services of one of Australia's premier specialist insurance teams and we are delighted to welcome Jenne, Joanna, Ivan and the broader team to HWL Ebsworth".
"The name HWL Ebsworth has been inextricably linked to the insurance sector for its entire history. While much of the firm's recent growth has been in sectors such as Banking & Finance, Property, Building & Construction, Planning & Environment, Litigation and Commercial, we refuse to be complacent and we are continuously looking for quality opportunities to broaden our offering in each of our core service areas" added Juan.
6 November 2013 - LawPath Introduces Cost Effective Legal Document Creation Service For SMEs
From official announcement:
LawPath, Australia’s largest and fastest growing legal platform, has launched a fast, easy and cost-effective downloadable legal template service for SMEs.
At launch, LawPath will offer 11 of the more commonly sought legal agreements, contracts and policies such as employment contracts and shareholder agreements, available for purchase in template form with the option of a review by an Australian specialist lawyer if required.
The 11 templates, priced between $39.95 and $149.95, are purchased and customised by the user online and downloaded from the LawPath website, with a cost saving to small businesses potentially in the thousands of dollars.
LawPath co-founder and CEO Paul Lupson said the current templates were the first of more than 50 they will offer by early next year.
“LawPath connects people and businesses that are in need of legal assistance, and sometimes that need is only for a legally sound document into which they can add their details and requirements without the need to actually engage a lawyer directly,” Mr Lupson said.
“The solution allows the customer to purchase and complete the document by themselves, or if required go a step further and have a lawyer review it for them to ensure it’s correctly completed. Even with a review, the cost savings to small business are likely to be in the thousands of dollars,” he said.
LawPath launched earlier this year, and the initial templates reflect the most commonly asked questions the platform has been facilitating.
4 November 2013 - New Pictures of Corrs 8 Chifley Office Fitout
1 November 2013 - New Portal Simplifies Search for CPD/CLE
Bulletpoints.com.au is a one-stop portal where you can find continuing education from a range of providers. There are courses in a variety of formats including seminar attendance and online video.
With Bulletpoints you no longer need to search through brochures or multiple provider websites.
The founders of Bulletpoints are Jason Elias and Jonathan Seifman. Jason is also the Director of Elias Recruitment.
Prior to co-founding Bulletpoints, Jonathan was CCH’s Director of Books, Education and Mobile Content for Australia & NZ.
Having both worked in the legal services industry for a number of years, Jason and Jonathan saw how many brochures for CPD events ended up either in lawyers’ bins or in a massive pile in a folder that gathered dust. They believed there had to be an easier way and Bulletpoints was born.
Bookings for courses can be done directly through the Bulletpoints website. You can also track your points through a personalised CPD Tracker.
Once you have selected your preferences you will receive customised email alerts on legal topics of interest.
Visit Bulletpoints at www.bulletpoints.com.au
30 October 2013 - Keystone Law Asks Australian Solicitors to Join the Future
29 October 2013 - Shine Lawyers Has No Plans to Enter the Market for Wills and Conveyancing
25 October 2013 - Sydney and Melbourne based firm Colin Biggers & Paisley (CBP) has merged with Brisbane firm Hemming+Hart
Sydney and Melbourne based firm Colin Biggers & Paisley (CBP) has merged with Brisbane firm Hemming+Hart.
The new firm, which will operate under the CBP brand, will be launched on 4 November 2013.
"After our expansion into Melbourne last year, it was the next logical step to open an office in Brisbane. CBP’s coverage is now across the eastern seaboard so we can offer a wider geographical reach to our clients," managing partner Dunstan de Souza said.
"As the firm continues to service clients on a national scale, the move into Brisbane will ensure that we continue to expand in the areas where our clients need us. It makes sense that we can serve our clients better by joining forces with a strong Queensland firm."
Jon Meadmore, the managing partner of Hemming+Hart, said: "We see this merger as a vital strategic step in servicing national clients with multi-state operations. Hemming+Hart is a proud Queensland firm and we look forward to the natural progression to an eastern seaboard firm in
the new entity." Meadmore will assume the national role of Head of Commercial in the new firm.
The Hemming+Hart lawyers will dramatically increase CBP’s commercial and corporate practice while also adding expertise to its construction and property teams.
The merger will take partner numbers to 53 and staff numbers to over 300. CBP's recent growth has been extraordinary, with partner numbers doubling since 2011.
"We are delighted to have teamed up with Hemming+Hart," said de Souza. "They are leaders in their fields of expertise and I'm confident that the new firm will go from strength to strength. Our combined expertise and wider geographic coverage across the three states will bring significant benefits to both our clients and our staff.
"We predict that our Brisbane office will double in size within the next two years and we expect to be making more announcements in the very near future."
Hemming+Hart is a six partner firm.
24 October 2013 - E-Conveyancing Settlements to Cost Less than Manual Settlements
22 October 2013 - Cut Backs to Justice
click above image to read article
21 October 2013 - Victorian Law Reform Commission Final Report on Succession Laws
This is the first ever comrehensive formal review of the Administration and Pro Act 1958 (Vic). The report contains 78 recommendations that cover this Act and more, including:
"A new provision should be inserted into the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) to the effect that an executor may receive commission from the assets of an estate provided that the executor obtains the fully informed consent of all interested beneficiaries."
"The Supreme Court should have the power to review and vary commission, charges and disbursements claimed by executors and administrators out of estates. A new provision of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic), based on section 86A of the Probate and Administration Act 1898 (NSW), should provide that:
(a) the court may review all or part of a commission or amount charged or proposed to be charged in respect of any estate
(b) if it finds it is excessive, the court may reduce it even if it was authorised by a provision in the will
(c) subject to any extension of time granted"
"The Legal Services Commissioner should be given jurisdiction to resolve a dispute between a legal practitioner and a beneficiary under a will about an amount charged to an estate for executorial services, where the disputed amount does not exceed $25,000."
"The Supreme Court of Victoria, in consultation with Victoria Legal Aid, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Federation of Community Legal Centres, should develop and make available on its website in community languages a package of information for those wishing to seek a grant of representation without professional assistance."
Link to report
17 October 2013 - Corrs Embraces Office Workspace of the Future
click above image to read article
16 October 2013 - GlobalX and NECDL to Host Free E-conveyancing Events Around Australia
click above image
12 October 2013 - GlobalX Information AnnounceThird Acquisition Ahead of E-conveyancing Launch
11 October 2013 - Electronic Conveyancing is Live in New South Wales
This week the NSW land registry (LPI) announced:
LPI successfully registered its first electronic transaction through Property Exchange Australia (PEXA). The first transaction in New South Wales – a discharge of mortgage – means that National Electronic Conveyancing is under way with PEXA now processing electronic transactions in two States, Victoria having commenced in June 2013.
PEXA is the electronic conveyancing platform developed by National E-Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL). Release 1 of PEXA provides functionality to process mortgages, discharges of mortgage and re-finance transactions and will be progressively expanded over the next year to include additional States and major financial institutions.
Release 2 is scheduled to go live in a number of increments over the coming year. This will allow solicitors and conveyancers to use the system, first to lodge caveats, and in the 3rd quarter of next year to conduct conveyancing transactions, settling and lodging online, including the payment of stamp duty and other third party disbursements.
The launch is a significant milestone for the State and Territory governments and the conveyancing industry who have all worked collaboratively for a number of years to ensure National Electronic Conveyancing meets the requirements of all stakeholders and delivers economic benefits in New South Wales and across Australia.
Further updates on the progress of National Electronic Conveyancing in NSW can be viewed on our website http://necnsw.lpi.nsw.gov.au
10 October 2013 - Free Legal Advice - Not a Problem
From official announcement:
Small businesses in Perth’s north west metropolitan area will benefit from free legal advice thanks to a new service by Joondalup law firm Slater & Gordon.
In partnership with the Small Business Centre, Slater & Gordon Lawyers will offer free 20-minute consultations to small business owners on any business related legal issue.
Slater & Gordon’s commercial lawyer John Pitman said the new service, available from October 22, would support local small businesses in and around the Joondalup area.
“Perth’s north metropolitan region is one of the city’s fastest growing residential and commercial areas, and we’re looking forward to contributing to the development of local businesses,” Mr Pitman said.
“Small businesses are an important part of our economy and community, so it is crucial for owners to get the right legal advice to help prevent any long term problems.
“Issues of partnership disputes, lease reviews and succession planning commonly confront small business owners, and through this new service we’ll be able to offer high quality legal advice and assistance.”
Small Business Centre North West Metro manager Mark Diggins said there were around 24,500 small businesses in the region which provided local jobs and added to the local economy.
“A lot of small businesses these days don’t necessarily know where to turn for legal help sometimes and it can be difficult to find good quality advice and information,” Mr Diggins said.
“This free service is a unique initiative in Perth, and it is great to see such a well-known company doing their part for local small businesses.”
9 October 2013 - Migration and Population Growth Statistics
In the 12 month period to March 2013, 60% of total population growth was due to net overseas migration. Will the new federal government reduce immigration levels as unemployment increases? The number of unemployed persons has increased by around 90,000 in the last 12 months.
3 October 2013 - IMF Litigation Funding to Raise $31.4 Million Capital
click above image to read more
2 October 2013 - Job Vacancies Continue Downwards
The above chart shows the picture for the whole economy (source ABS). Private sector job vacancies are down by 21.2%, public sector down by 15.9% and for the private and public sector combined, down 20.8% over 12 months from August 2012 to August 2013.
Our independent research on the legal sector shows that the decline is following the same pattern as the general economy. In some job categories such as graduates and legal secretaries we believe the decline is greater than the average for the general economy.
On a historical scale, job vacancies now roughly equate to 2009 levels. The unemployment rate is also tracking close to that experienced in 2009. The key question is where do we go from here?
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